The Check-Up: Gay Men in Britain No Longer Precluded from Giving Blood

But they still are in the US

• Officials in the UK lifted a longstanding ban on blood donations by gay men. A similar policy has existed—and continues to exist—in the US since the 1980s, whereby men who sleep with men are excluded from giving blood donations based on the idea that “as a group, gay men are at increased risk for HIV, hepatitis B and other transmissible infections and, therefore, pose a greater risk to the blood supply,” according to The policy’s repeal in Britain comes on the heels of a report by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs, which determined that policies which exclude gay men from giving blood are “not based on any scientifically proven increase in risk to the blood supply.” Well then. I wonder when the US will follow suit.

• Hooray! Lung cancer rates are declining, particularly in women. I would like to thank all the people who’ve quit (or never started) smoking, Mad Men be damned.

• And on a much lighter note, MSNBC’s the Body Odd blog got to the bottom of eye boogers—and I’m so very glad they did. I mean, someone had to, and it certainly wasn’t going to be me.